7th ranked Oregon State sits with a 22-7 record about half way through the season, and though they are only 5-4 in Pac-12 play, the Beavers are only 1 1/2 games back.
Neither mark is bad, and pitching turmoil has had a lot to do with neither being even better, but those of us that follow and cover the team have also voiced concern over the offense as well. And the bats were a too quiet and not frequent enough contributor to the 4 game losing steak, as well as another shutout loss.
Leaving an enormous number of runners on base persists as an issue as well.
But the take from some writers I've heard from lately who do not cover the Beavers closely all the time, but do know and cover baseball, and do know Oregon State well generally and historically, has been one very impressed. So I took the time to take a look at the overall stats, and turns out this is a darn good offense, and one that could prove to be historically good once the season is complete.
Oregon State has 7 regular starters who are hitting .308 or better; in most cases, much better. The outfield is hitting .318 and up.
That isn't usually the case with a team whose' leading hitter is their catcher, but with the Beavers, it is.
Logan Ice, in a position that notoriously and traditionally stunts offense, has been anything but bothered. Ice leads the team with a .365 batting average, and has belted a team high 5 home runs. Catchers also aren't supposed to be fast, but Ice has 4 triples, just 1 behind Christian Donahue.
Donahue, after being unseated from second base, has settled into left field, and is second on the club in RBI, hitting .353, and leads the Beavers in triples.
Kyle Nobach is in center field because of his defense, but hitting .330 will get you into CF on practically any team at any level as well. Jack Andersen rounds out the defensively solid outfield while hitting .318.
The right side of any Pat Casey infield has to be good with the glove or they won't be out there, but again, good hitting also helps. KJ Harrison has been one of the most productive Beavers with a bat, hitting .321, but also leading the team in RBIs, with 26, doubles, with 12, and extra base hits, having hammered out 20.
And shortstop, a position often not associated with offense, has been better than could be counted on, with Trevor Morrison hitting .308.
As a result, Oregon State leads the Pac-12 with a .301 team batting average, and also in triples, with 22. The Beavers are second in the conference in RBIs, with 178, and 3rd in hits, with 293, but the leader in both categories, Arizona, has 4 more games to accumulate numbers.
Heading to Pullman this weekend, the Beavers should be able to bolster those numbers even more against the last place Cougs.
Now if they can just consistently hit like that when runners are on!